At Underprotection we are working with suppliers from different parts of the world. There are many criterias and factors involved in our selection of these suppliers. Most importantly, is our demand for a high social sustainability when it comes to the people making our products and at the same time a demand for high quality products in sustainable materials. Proper working conditions and wages is a human right, therefore we only work with certified suppliers who carry certifications that ensure social sustainability in production. By working exclusively with certified suppliers, we ensure that with our choice of supplier we support fair wages and proper working conditions.
We produce our products in several different places in the world and common to all our suppliers are their passion for social responsibility and sustainability, this is supported by all suppliers making our products, are certified. There are many different factory certifications and the suppliers we work with have at least one and some have several. The certifications that our suppliers have are WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production), Sedex, GOTS and BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative), all of which help to guarantee proper working conditions and a fair wage. In addition, they all also have Oeko-Tex which among other things helps to ensure that no harmful chemicals are used in the factories or in the materials that are sewn on site.
In a production, you are incredibly dependent on the people behind it and who make sure that every single lace and stitching is laid correctly. From pattern construction to the final quality control, every step towards the finished product is paramount to the end result. Therefore, we believe in long and equal relationships with our suppliers, as this helps to ensure greater transparency in the process, trust in each other and in the work processes. It also helps to ensure that the people who work in the factories have more stable conditions, as we do not move our production from place to place depending on where the best prices are, but instead commit ourselves to producing at each single supplier on every collection we launch. We believe in relationships and we believe that it pays to build them.
THE WORK ENVIRONMENT
With the certifications that our suppliers have, we ensure that some - for us - very simple working conditions and human rights, regardless of gender, skin color or religious beliefs, are respected. Although our factories almost all have different certifications, the goal with them is pretty much the same, namely to ensure proper working conditions at a reasonable wage. The way in which the certifications work is by each of the factories receiving visits, announced and unannounced, from the various certifications, in this way ensuring an independent control from a third party. The report carried out during this visit will subsequently be sent to us and if there are any remarks, the factory will have the opportunity to rectify this within a certain period of time, in order to retain the certification. We also visit the factories ourselves and they visit us, which helps to strengthen the understanding of our values and the products we want to create together, and with as sustainable a foundation as possible.
THE SUPPLY CHAIN
In the fashion and textile industry, everything you do leaves some sort of footprint. From purchasing textiles to production and to handling the product at the end of its life. We want to keep our distribution chain as sustainable as possible. Therefore, we ensure that our suppliers take their social and environmental responsibilities seriously by only collaborating with certified suppliers, just as we only use certified materials. When we choose materials, we also do so based on the country our supplier is located in and what they specialize in, so that we avoid having additional freight on our materials and trim. Among other things, we make all our swimwear in China, as it is made from recycled PET bottles, this is not so easy to get in Europe, as we fortunately have a well-functioning deposit system here. Conversely, we think it makes really good sense to help remove plastic bottles from nature and turn it into swimwear. On the other hand, all our lace comes from Italy and France, they are among the best in the world for making lace and in recent years they have become really good at recycling and developing sustainable lace. That's why all our blonde lingerie is sewn in Europe. In addition, we focus on sending as many products as possible by ship and train, and as little as possible by plane.
Ensuring ethical, fair and environmentally friendly production is a continuous process. We constantly invest in making our production as green and environmentally friendly as possible, with our choice of materials and suppliers, so that we can minimize our waste, water consumption and energy footprint. We make sure to stay up to date with new sustainable and social initiatives that can help improve relationships for all the people involved in the process of developing our products. We always strive to make the most sustainable choices even if it is not necessarily the most economically sensible choice, but for us it is not only a business, it is also a lifestyle and a belief that the future must- and can be greener, not least for the children we leave it to. Together with the growing number of brands working for a more sustainable future, we will do the best we can to inspire and be frontrunners by developing new and greener forms of production in the fashion industry. It is our goal to always improve - in everything we do.
Change is constant!